Let me introduce you to Claire Collins; you may or may not know who Claire is or what she does, as although she has worked with some of you, she has not worked with all of you yet.

Claire is a Growth and Development Officer (GDO) working exclusively within Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk. She works as part of the Regional Services Team (RST) and usually supports volunteers to open new sections or groups. She was brought back from furlough recently to lead on a different project developing some activities for all young people during the summer.

She has also been supporting local volunteers from across the three counties and we are pleased to announce the East of England Summer Challenge – starting on Monday 17th August for 3 weeks, which is offering free activities to everyone.

Here is the link to the Facebook page.


If young people register for the Summer Challenge through the Facebook page and they are existing scouters from the 3 counties they can get a free badge (limited availability), however the activities are free for anyone to do.

If you know of anyone who may want to contribute to the project, Claire is still looking for:

  • Young people aged 14+ who may be interested in presenting, videoing or video editing and would like to help with the project – having videos of activities for young people, made by young people is very empowering. They can contact her directly if interested (see below)

  • Any groups who have already held a virtual camp and has some amazing videos of activities already made that would like to share them with a wider audience – Claire would be very happy to reuse them but not take away the acknowledgement of who did the work. If you know of any, please contact her directly to discuss.

  • Potential groups who are still meeting online or would like to meet online in Zoom and take part in a special activity led by an expert – ideally if we can offer this to groups who may not otherwise get these opportunities, that would be amazing. The young people would need to interact, (with parent supervision / permission to be seen online), as the zoom meeting would be recorded live and then posted as an activity video in the future. The hope with this is that having some interaction within activities will make them more appealing to the young people at home to join in with. Current ideas are storytelling, art, drumming or Makaton / sign language activity…. These are also not currently guaranteed to happen, as she is still working on the idea… but if anyone is interested please contact her directly.


A Message from Claire

I am also working on a separate project, a supporting group for anyone who is a new adult (just turned 18) who may be looking at becoming an adult leader and what that might mean. Or missing being an explorer and wants to know what they can do next.

I will not be teaching or training them, but just giving them the option to join others in the same position and talk through what being a leader or potentially any other role means.

This can also be open for any new adults that are just joining, if they wish to connect too.


Let’s Get Involved!

We hope to hear from anyone about any aspect of supporting this project, asap…. If you do not have any involvement other than sharing the East of England Summer Challenge Facebook page with your groups and your young people, it would be amazing.

If you can please let me know when you have told your groups about the Facebook page, we will be able to tick you off of my list.  


We’re already getting great interest from leaders across the three counties and it is an excellent opportunity to network with leaders elsewhere and share ideas and of course the programme is ideal for our young people to continue to enjoy Scouting over the summer period no matter their age. So let the Summer Challenge Team take the strain!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., County Commissioner - Suffolk

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Growth & Development Officer (Essex, Suffolk & Bedfordshire)